Former Pentagon chief and Marine general Jim Mattis told an audience in Washington, D.C., about the mistakes he made as a wayward youth and during the Gulf War.
"I went to jail twice — twice — before I went into the Marines," Mattis said at a book tour event on Friday. "And I would just tell you, the Marines forgave that, too."
Growing up in central Washington state, Mattis was born into a family that loved the outdoors and gave him a long leash to explore the world around him. At 13, he was hitch-hiking across the country and got into a few scrapes along the way.
In his book, Call Sign Chaos, he recalled getting into a fight with three local boys in Montana. The young Mattis would eventually be picked up by a local sheriff who gave him a cell to sleep in for the night before driving him to a rail yard to hop a freight train the next morning.